Culture\Events and Festivals

Major electronic dance festival to debut

By ZHANG KUN in Shanghai | | Updated: 2017-08-06 04:03

The Ultra Music Festival, one of the most celebrated electronic music events in the world, will land in China this September.

The first leg of Ultra China will take place at Celebration Square in Shanghai's Pudong New Area on Sept 9 and 10. Sixteen artists including Armin van Buuren, Dubfire, Martin Garrix have confirmed their participation in Ultra China. The festival will also feature a stage for new singers, bands and DJs from China.

Bringing the event to China marks a major milestone for Ultra, said the festival's director for Asia Dudley Chou.

"We feel music and dance have been around for a very long time, but a music and dance festival is a relatively new concept in China," said Chou at the news conference announcing the launch of Ultra China on July 12.

"We can see that the number of Chinese music festival fans has grown in number. China's youth are showing a new desire to experience more music, more dance and more lifestyle brands. Based on our observations, it is time to bring the Ultra experience to China with the right organizers," he added.

The Ultra Music Festival was founded in Miami, Florida, in 1999. Besides the annual two-day event at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, the festival is also held in multiple cities across the globe, including Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Santiago in Chile, Seoul in South Korea and Johannesburg in South Africa.

According to Chou, 750,000 people from over five continents attended Ultra music festivals in 2016, with 350,000 of them coming from Asia. Because of this reception in Asia, Ultra will be holding 10 events in the region this year, with Shanghai, Mumbai and Delhi being the latest locations added to the tour.

"We've been researching about the China market for five years, during which Ultra Asia has expanded from just one location to 10," Chou said.

DJ Nicky Romero, who has performed at Ultra festivals around the world, will be among the artists at the upcoming Ultra China.

Romero, who has performed in China before, said: "I know just how dedicated and crazy the fans can be in China. China might even beat Miami when it comes to the crowd atmosphere."

The festival was introduced to China by Shanghai-based Project Banana, a new company that is helmed by Wang Sicong, the only child of Wang Jianlin, president of Wanda Group. A frequent festivalgoer himself, junior Wang said at the news conference that he chose to host Ultra China in Shanghai because the city "is posh and has many rich people".

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